By Yankuba Jallow
The National Assembly has referred the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between The Gambia and 12 countries to the relevant Select Committee for consideration.
The twelve (12) countries are the Kingdom of Spain, the State of Qatar, Republic of Mali, the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Rwanda, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Cameroun.
BASA, according to the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure are treaties signed between countries to allow international commercial air transport services between countries. He said it promotes international air link between countries, which supports and enables movement of persons, cargo, trade and tourism. He indicated these agreements provide the framework under which identified airlines from two countries fly into designated airports in each other’s country.
The Minister also presented the Praia – Dakar – Abidjan Corridor Development Project for ratification, but the lawmakers assigned it to the appropriate committee to consider and report to the Assembly.
Minister Jobe said the government of The Gambia is a signatory to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Supplementary Act Dakar – Abidjan Corridor Treaty signed on the 3rd June 2017 for the creation of the Praia – Dakar – Abidjan Corridor Development Programme.
Minister Jobe said the Corridor is a multi-modal transportation network which will have 6 –lane dual carriage highway, railway interconnection and shipping/maritime services linking Dakar to Abidjan passing through Banjul, Bissau, Conakry, Freetown and Monrovia covering a distance of about 3,500 kilometres.
“The Corridor will open up and develop complementary Economic Zones (Industries, agro-processing, logistics, dry ports, markets etc.) along the corridor line of countries passed through,” he said.
He said a key component of the project is the construction of the Gambia segment including the Banjul – Barra Bridge and associated complementary transport and trade facilitation measures. The Gambia Government has written to the Islamic Development Bank requesting for a sum of $5 million towards funding the detailed engineering design studies, environmental and social impact assessment and all other relevant studies necessary for the implementation of the project.
The lawmakers also assigned the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts relating to international civil aviation and the protocol supplementary to the convention for the suppression of unlawful seizure of aircraft (Beijing Convention and Protocol 2010) to the relevant committee for consideration and to report to the Assembly. Also, the Protocol to amend the Convention on the Offences and Certain other Acts committed on board aircraft (Montreal Protocol 2014) was also referred to the relevant committee for consideration and to report to the Assembly.